the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Trenton NJ, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an Ocean County man who had over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography on his computer devices was sentenced today to state prison. He was one of 40 men arrested in 2016 in “Operation Statewide,” a child pornography sweep by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies.
Anthony White, 31, of Lakewood, N.J., was sentenced today to six years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter in Ocean County. He pleaded guilty on March 6 to second-degree charges of distributing child pornography and attempting to manufacture child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks prosecuted White and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
In pleading guilty, White admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make 25 or more files of child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer. He further admitted in connection with the attempted manufacturing charge that he tried to reproduce images of child pornography that he previously downloaded. While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) downloaded 38 videos and images of child pornography from a shared folder at a computer IP address later traced to White. White was arrested on July 20, 2016, when members of the DTIU and State Police TEAMS Unit executed a search warrant at his home and seized computer devices, including a desktop computer. A forensic preview of the devices revealed over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography, one of the largest collections of child pornography ever seized by law enforcement in New Jersey.
“We are working hard through our proactive online investigations to banish the offensive notion that viewing child pornography is somehow a victimless crime,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Tens of thousands of children were cruelly abused to create the videos and images in White’s collection, and he exploited and re-victimized those children by his actions.”
“By sending defendants like White to prison, we deliver the message that possessing and distributing child pornography are very serious crimes – crimes that create a market for the terrible abuse of innocent children,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This prison sentence reflects our determination to prosecute these offenders aggressively using New Jersey’s tough child pornography laws.”
“People like Anthony White care more about getting caught than they do about the innocent children who are subjected to the horrific abuses portrayed in the videos they willingly share on the internet,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “As a result of the great work by our troopers and law enforcement partners, White will remain under parole supervision for life after he serves his prison sentence.”
Operation Statewide was a 2016 multi-agency child pornography sweep coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as lead agency for the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The operation resulted in arrests of 40 men, including defendants in every county of New Jersey. During the operation, investigators monitored Peer to Peer, or P2P, file-sharing networks popular with child pornography offenders. Such networks play a major role in the distribution of child pornography, functioning in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Because videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them. Law enforcement has cataloged a large number of these images and videos, and the electronic files can be traced in various ways. During Operation Statewide, detectives downloaded child pornography that defendants offered from shared folders on their computers, tracing the files to their point of origin.
Attorney General Grewal commended the detectives of the New Jersey State Police DTIU and members of the other agencies in the New Jersey ICAC Task Force who conducted Operation Statewide, as well as the attorneys who participated in the investigations and are prosecuting the resulting cases.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.